Firstly, the site is now in it’s new home at ben-johnston.co.uk. As I mentioned here, I want to be taking my blog more seriously this year and this new domain is a big part of that. I want it to be seen as a bit more professional; it’s also easier to remember and spell properly, which should help things.
I’ve also started to think about building a mailing list. This is something that I’ve never really done with my blogs before. Although I’ve done a bit of email work over the years, I’ve never done it with this site, short of allowing email subscribers through Feedburner. I’ve now changed that, so if you’d like to sign up, I’d love to have you on board. All you’ll get for the time being is my latest post, so you’ll be getting one or two pieces sent to you a month. No spam, no ads, just that, alerts of any guest posts and maybe the occasional piece of list-exclusive content now and then. If that sounds good to you, sign up now. It’s free and always will be.
But aside from that and a couple of small aesthetic changes, which were made infinitely easier thanks to the Genesis Framework (aff), there’s one major change that I’d like to share with you:
After a mostly happy time with it, I’ve removed Livefyre (you can find the reasons I chose it in my Disqus vs Livefyre post) and gone back to the default WordPress comments system. Why? Simple: spam.
When Conventional Blogging Wisdom Is Wrong
A lot of the blogging “gurus” – or whatever they’re calling themselves this week – will tell you that you should be using a comments system like this, that the time you’ll waste deleting pointless comments from pseudo-SEO’s trying to rank their silly Indian Government Tenders keyword is less important than “the conversation”.
Sorry guys, but in the case of this site, that’s just not true. My time is much more important than “the conversation”, which isn’t that prolific in most cases anyway, although I get some good interaction on Twitter. I’m aware that that’s mostly my fault for rarely writing anything less than 1000 words, for not promoting the site as well as I could (although that’s going to change) and for going too long between updates, but in many ways, that kind of highlights why I don’t want to waste my time deleting comments.
This site is a hobby, a place for me to write down my ideas and hopefully give you something you can use on your own campaigns. I don’t have the time to spend half an hour a night deleting spam comments and I don’t need the annoyance of Livefyre giving do-follow links to people that “like” a comment and offering no way to remove them.
So here’s the deal: I’m now using the default WordPress comments system for the foreseeable future. I have Akismet set on “Terminate With Extreme Prejudice” (not a real setting) and anything which contravenes the comments policy (TL/DR – add some value even if you disagree, use your real name) will never see the light of day. If you do leave a worthwhile comment, I will publish it as soon as I get a chance (pretty quickly, thanks to the WordPress Android app) and you will be rewarded with a do-follow link.
I really can’t say fairer than that, can I?
What do you think? Am I wrong? Is my time less important than dealing with spam? Comments are still easy to leave, so let me know. I hope you like the changes I’ve made.